Keeping a dog in a residence without access to sufficient nutrition is considered a form of abuse. Animal services and law enforcement take these cases very seriously because no dog deserves to suffer deliberately induced dehydration and hunger.
The Animal Rescue League of Iowa recently found a Great Dane kept in a kennel in a Des Moines apartment without food or water. From a breed known for its large size, the dog was so neglected and emaciated that he was “literally a skeleton.”
A Disturbing Sight
In a Facebook post following their discovery of this poor dog, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa wrote:
“When the ARL officer arrived, she found the Great Dane named Kal shut in the crate with no food and no water – wasting away in an apartment where people were living. And no one was helping him.”
The officer on scene told Kal’s owner to let him out of the crate. The desperate dog ran straight to the bathroom as soon as he was out and “began guzzling water out of the toilet.”
Right away, the ARL officer transported Kal to their Emergency Care Team. The Facebook post describes the condition he was in:
“The sight was shocking: We could see every bone in his body. [Kal] was so emaciated and dehydrated that even his head and eyes were sunken in. He had no muscle mass whatsoever and weighed just 44 pounds. He wouldn’t have survived much longer.”
Forty-four pounds may not sound all that drastic for a dog, but consider this: adult male Great Danes weigh an average of 140 to 200 pounds. Kal was clearly starving and suffering in that apartment for a long time.
Des Moines Police later arrested Alaxandria Byron, the person responsible for Kal’s terrible neglect. Byron was charged with one count of Animal Neglect — Death or Serious Injury.
Kal’s Road To Recovery
When rescuers gave Kal some food and water, “he ate and drank ravenously, pushing the bowl around the floor to get every last morsel.” Because Kal was extremely dehydrated, doctors put him on IV fluids. The Great Dane is now on a careful “refeeding program” to help him gain some weight back safely.
The ARL’s post concluded:
“He is safe now, but he has a long road to recovery.”
Donate to the ARL here or via the Venmo app to @ARL-Iowa to help fund Kal’s recovery. Great work by Iowa’s dedicated animal rescuers in removing Kal from this dangerous situation and putting him on the path to a better life.